Friday, May 08, 2009

4MC: Nick Shotter's amazing four-wheeled motorcycle

The 4MC, powersliding out of corners and getting sideways, on wet and oily tarmac! This has to be the most phenomenal motorcycle concept we've ever seen...!!!

Pics and video: 4MC, via Gizmag

Remember the Yamaha Tesseract and Franco Sbarro’s Pendolauto? Both of these four-wheeled motorcycle concepts looked like they would be a lot of fun to ride but they haven’t, apparently, progressed beyond the concept bike stage.

Now, where Yamaha and Sbarro haven’t been able to move ahead, the UK-based Nick Shotter has. His 4MC four-wheeled motorcycle is a fully functioning prototype and going by the video you see above, it’s simply phenomenal. With proper motorcycle-style tilting wheels – but with the added traction you get with four hoops rather than just two – the 4MC seems easy to powerslide out of corners, on wet and oily tarmac!! You wouldn’t try that on your ZX-10R, would you…?

According to a report on Gizmag, Shotter is a London-based ex-courier, who’s been working on his tilting four-wheel motorcycle for two decades. He also owns a few patents on this design, which might actually be one of the reasons why Yamaha have not been able to go ahead with the Tesseract concept.

When you watch the video of the 4MC being ridden around corners, you realise that this bike seems just about uncrashable. At full tilt, its wheels actually move slightly further apart, increasing stability. That, along with the added manoeuvrability that its tilting wheels provide, make the 4MC a demon in fast corners. And at very low speeds, there’s a hydraulic anti-tilt system there, which ‘locks’ the wheels and allows the machine to be ridden very slowly, without the rider having to put his feet down.

For now, the 4MC prototype is fitted with a 400cc Yamaha engine, but it can be modified to accept bigger, more powerful engines. We really wonder what this machine will do with a litre-class superbike engine in there. We see a lot of concepts and prototypes and all kinds of wild and wonderful two-, three- and four-wheeled contraptions here at Faster and Faster, but the 4MC has just blown us away. Awesome machine!!!

For more videos of the 4MC and other details on this wonderful machine, visit Nick Shotter’s website here


Anonymous said...

Why no comments?

This thing looks like it could actually work quite well.

I like it.

Anonymous said...

The idea is good, this man deserves big credit for the original approach to create an all weather/road mobility.

My 2 cents: I think that it will be hard to reach a good power/weight ratio given the nature of the frame, just see the front suspension ( same for the Yamaha proto.).
I think the you could get the same tilting susp. benefits linking L/R wheels with a sort of pantograph in each axle in a quad; susp. travel can be increased same way as in 4wd's trucks.

Decision: The idea is very interesting to consider its rivals:

1- 4WD quads

2- Controlled slip differentials.

3- ABS.


Food for thought : )


Anonymous said...

Why do we need it? Seems like it's over complicated. Cool experiment, but is it really that more stable than say a Spyder? You don't have to lean to turn with more than 2 wheels.

hardboiled said...

Now that is a damn good idea. I hope he's copyrighted it because I can see the big four nicking this idea damn quick.

I reckon its going to appeal to the under 30 hot head market as most people will try to avoid power sliding as its not natural thing to do. After 30 life preservation sets in ya miss wont wont want you riding like you don't give a damn.
What will be interesting is if someone deliberately power slides in front of a policeman.... would they be done for not being in full control of the vehicle.Answer that one.

Cosmetically it needs a bit of work but the rest of it looks as sound as a pound.

Anonymous said...

Come on people...would ANY of you ride this in public?

This thing might catch on for (mentally) handicapped riders but how often do you ride on oily roads & WANT to get sideways?

Yes, I admire the engineering & somone actually taking a concept to fruition..but...this is as practical as a Segway & screams "goobers only" as loudly.

Anonymous said...

If this vehicle (not a bike) went on sale today where I live, and it was priced reasonably, they would not be able to keep them in stock.

Anonymous said...

This bike could be made suitable for most ages. It would be great for transporation to work.If made samller it would be good for older people in city and country. I would like it in a 250cc scooter with CVT. You young men only think about yourselves but the rest of us would like something like this also.

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